Bahraini Doctors Who Treated Anti-Government Protesters Face Trial

There is something seriously wrong with a society that allows this. The current government of this country is supposed to be one of staunchest Mid-Eastern allies, among the Arab countries, that is.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Dozens of doctors and nurses who treated injured anti-government protesters during the months of unrest in Bahrain went on trial in a security court on Monday on allegations they participated in efforts to overthrow the Gulf country’s monarchy.

The prosecution of 47 health professionals is a sign that Bahrain’s Sunni rulers will not end their relentless pursuit of the Shiite-led opposition despite officially lifting emergency rule last week.

The doctors and nurses were arraigned on Monday during a closed hearing in a security court authorized under emergency rule that was imposed in mid-March to crush weeks of demonstrations by Bahrain’s Shiite majority, which has campaigned for greater freedoms, equal rights and an elected government. The court has military prosecutors and military and civilian judges.

The medical workers were charged with participating in efforts to topple Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy and taking part in illegal rallies. Other charges against the doctors and nurses, most of whom treated injured protesters in the state-run Salmaniya Medical Complex in the capital, Manama, include harming the public by spreading false news and denying medical attention to several Sunni patients.

Only select journalists are allowed to cover the trials in the security court after authorities put a gag order on legal proceedings against suspected opposition supporters. Select family members were allowed to attend Monday’s arraignment. Amid tight security in and outside the court, relatives were also given 30 minutes to talk to the defendants after proceedings were adjourned to give lawyers more time to prepare for their clients’ defense.

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